Thursday, February 20, 2014

JNS BLOG EXCLUSIVE: Pictures Purportedly Of A "Not So Slummy" 2818 Colfax Ave. N., Site Of Fire That Killed Five Small Children...

Contributed photo, blog post by John Hoff

A woman describing herself as a former tenant of Paul Bertelson, the landlord at 2818 Colfax Ave. N., site of a fatal fire that claimed the lives of five small children, emailed me and said as follows...

Slummy Is How You live, And 2818 Colfax Ave N. Upper was Not Slummy When I lived there till end of Oct 2012, it looked just like this. So can you please quit calling Pauls Properties "Slums" You embarras the people who take pride in having their own place(like ME) just because its owned by someone you don't like.  I looked at 3 of his houses before I chose this one and I liked it alot..the house was so nice to be in such a bad area.

So I enjoyed my time there.  here are some pics...all showing the heaters with the knobs, and they all were working.  Feel free to use a few of these pics if you want. But Please let up the reigns on my former landlord, he was a good guy I swear, and I know shady people who do shady things and truly I am a good judge. Here is proof that his places are livable, not slums, and CLEAN, bug and Pest Free, beautiful, (to me) I don't know your standards but to me I loved it so its sad what happened.  

The heaters all worked and I used to wish I still lived there.  No problems except the area, which made me get a gun as you can see in the pics. lol.

(Paragraph break added by JNS blog, you're welcome)

Here are the other photos which were forwarded. Apparently not all the photos are of the upstairs unit but there is also one of the "downstairs bedroom facing the alley." (ADDENDUM, FEBRUARY 21, JNS blog confirms that despite the use of the phrase "Dn Stairs" in original email, all the photos are, in fact, of the second and third story apartment)

The source of these photos says she has more but didn't want those published since these include her children. My source added, however, "Just hate to hear all the stories making it sound like his place was all run down...I swear to be such an old house it looked pretty nice, Im talking tub, oven, fridge, floors nice, walls good, stairs new carpet. even the lighting fixtures looked good. So yes, good to get the truth out.  But I dont know how the few tenants after me treated the place, but at the end of 2012 everything was good, even better then when I moved in(got a fridge, ceiling tiles all new, painted outside and patios-all while I lived there for my 6 months)."

JNS blog will, however, continue to use the word "slumlord" to describe Paul Bertelson and his landlord practices. The shame of it is Bertelson has always been known to be a more benevolent slumlord than, for example, Mahmoud Khan. (Who evicted the Lewis family from another residence) 

No matter how well maintained properties themselves may be another "slumlord" practice is the concentration of people in poverty and people with criminal records into a limited geographic area, a practice which creates "slums." And Paul Bertelson undoubtedly does that.

The cause of the fire continues to be unknown but Troy Lewis is on the record saying baseboard heaters had issues as early as October of 2013 and for that reason he resorted to using a space heater. But Troy Lewis also says he's a Vietnam veteran and JNS blog continues to wait for proof of THAT.

With all the mainstream media caught up in a Pollyanna narrative about this tragedy, (complete with a tinkling piano layered beneath the telling of the tale!) there will be at least one media entity which asks tough, uncomfortable questions and digs for facts. Nothing will bring back those five dead children but only digging for the truth has the slightest possibility of preventing future tragedies or meting out justice.  


Anonymous said...

I'm sure Anthony Weinstein and Jon Peterson would also say that they're not slumlords, LMFAO!

Anonymous said...

I think the photos are more of a reflection of the renter, and the care she took for her home, than evidence for Bertleson's maintenance record. The place did burn down and was described as electrically deficient by former tenants, after all.

It looks like your typical white paint-over-everything and poorly-staged kitchen type set-up. Which is why slumlords/wannabe philanthroplic property managers should be using apartment buildings to this end, NOT gutting historic homes in wide swaths across entire neighborhoods.

Anonymous said...

I am sure it is hard for you to imagine that some people are attempting to do good, because it is not devised by you. A landlord is not a slumlord because of where his properties are. It was a slum already and some are trying to help by rehabbing trashed and gutted eyesores.

If these down and out people had a Johnny Northside approved option for living space, the world would be all candy canes and unicorns. But you do NOTHING except run down those who attempt to do good. You create NOTHING except disharmony, and you are NOTHING besides being a bitter failure as a husband and supposed journalist.

If a landlord rents to someone and a thug crashes in that renter's dwelling because they are not worthy of signing a lease, how is that preventable by the landlord? If a person passes a MN background check, but turns out to be a lying rapist from another state how is that the landlord's fault? How is rehabbing crappy housing in a depressed area and giving people housing when there is no other option but homelessness or overcrowding other's rental units seen so wrongly by you?

Is it because you see the world through dirty lenses so that all others must be dirty? Maybe it is just you. Jumping to conclusions about people you don't know, being found wrong with no facts to back up your wild assertions, and never recanting when you slander a good man (as this woman proves in her message to you).

Get a life and support people who are trying to help our neighborhood before you drive out all that is good for the sake of hearing your own voice trumpet.

Anonymous said...

All of the pics are of the upstairs unit...the 2nd and 3rd floors.

Johnny Northside! said...

Here is the description which came with the email. Note the phrase "Dn stairs bedroom."

Pic 1 -the living room Pic 2-The Living Room Pic-3 Dining Room(before I got a table) Pic-4 Kitchen(to left is hallway then sunroom then stairs Pic-5 front den(with patio door on left) Pic-6 Sun Room facing back alley Pic-7 Upstairs BR with Window facing Alley Pic-8 Dn Stairs BR facing alley Pic 9 Kitchen Counter Pic-10 Living Room Window Facing Patio Pic-11Dining Room Pic-12 Dn Stairs Bathroom (with HOT Heater Register) Pic-13 Sun Room facing Alley

Did "Dn Stairs" mean "on the second floor" in this context?

Johnny Northside! said...

No matter how thin you slice that b.s., Paul Bertelson is a slumlord. Better than some, and he dresses it up in doing good for Jesus, but the man is a slumlord.

Anonymous said...

the upper unit consists of the 2nd and 3rd floors, as well as a stairwell to the 1st floor. So in other words the "upper unit" starts at mid-level and has an upstairs.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of Anthony Weinstein and Jon Peterson. Their slum at 3723 Girard Ave. N. has a huge pile of garbage sitting in the backyard complete with St. Mattress and possibly a tumble-weave as well. To up the ghetto of this ghetto pile there was also a water heater that blocked traffic today down the alley for about an hour when someone got stuck trying to go around it.

justin mccarthy said...

Wow, offering a leaking life raft to the despondent only prolongs their suffering. Slumlords are scumbags and no amount of perfume can mask their smell. Get rich quick slumers, veiled in Christ slumers, and good old fashioned slumers are not helping the poor. Housing for criminals, gang members and just general scumbags are what slumlords provide. If you can't control your tenants behavior you need to get out of the business. A good landlord can and do, they do it all the time. It requires a solid practice of constant monitoring, having only the people on the lease living at the address. Providing the means to keep up tha property by hiring landscaping crews for yard upkeep and. Snow removal. Not just assuming the dirt poor slobs you rent to will be able to provide the means and labor for such strenuous tasks. Sending a maintenance person over to pick up garbage every day. Oh, sounds like a apartment building, that is how they operate. Just cause you can afford the buy a house in an distressed area and rent it does not make you a landlord. Proper managment techniques separates slumlords from landlords. I wish I could really express my feelings about slumers, but spewing hatred and rage only makes me feel good for a few seconds, were a slumlord property on my block effects everyone on that block 24/7.

Johnny Northside! said...

Due to a follow up email from original source, I have now confirmed all the photos are from 2nd and 3rd story despite use of the ambiguous phrase "Dn Stairs," which in this context apparently meant the second story since there was a second and third story to the apartment in question.

Anonymous said...

No comments on Anon at 5:30 on 2/20, John? He had the most sensible comment I've ever seen on here.
There are people that do good. That help people with no other alternatives get housing. How does that make them slumlords?
Ugh...I have to tear myself away from your blog. It's like watching a car accident. You are a sad, sad man, Johnny.